Crosswalks may lead to court

The crosswalks on Capitol Drive are in disrepair, especially here at the intersection of Morris Boulevard.

The crosswalks on Capitol Drive are in disrepair, especially here at the intersection of Morris Boulevard.

May 7, 2014

Shorewood — The crumbling crosswalks on Capitol Drive have Shorewood village officials considering legal action.

Red brick crosswalks were installed as part of the Department of Transportation's Capitol Drive reconstruction project in 2010, but it wasn't long after the project was completed that village officials started noticing crumbling bricks, particularly at Morris Boulevard and other crosswalks on the west end of the street.

Shorewood village officials have since ordered several studies on the crosswalks to see how they could be restored. In closed session Monday night, trustees gave Village Manager Chris Swartz the authority to pursue more studies.

"The product is deficient, therefore we are looking at what our alternatives are to assure that the crosswalks hold up for a substantial period of time," Swartz said.

Swartz said the board also talked in closed session about potential legal remedies that may be available, to recoup funds that may be spent to repair the crosswalks. Swartz said the village should not be on the hook for the shortcomings of the state project.

"There are defects that we want to make sure get fixed, so it's a street we can all be proud of," Swartz said. "Because of the defects we see at some of the intersections, it takes away from the value of the street."

DOT spokesman Brian DeNeve said the DOT remains in communication with Shorewood, and is awaiting new information about Shorewood's findings on the cost of repairing the crosswalks.

DeNeve said the DOT, its contractors and inspectors followed the direction of the crosswalk design plans, which were drafted by the Graef engineering firm.

"We do not beleve there is reason to hold the contractor or inspector responsible," DeNeve said. "We believe that's something for Graef and the village to resolve."

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